The Devil you know…how the familiarity principle works to influence our buying habits.

Written by John Kuder

Table Of Contents

Hi. So Connie, what are we talking about today? Oh, I’ve got a good one for you, John. So it’s called the Mere Exposure Effect. Mere, M E R E. So just merely seeing something or it’s also called the Familiarity principle. Okay. All right. Sounds familiar a little bit. Yeah. Have you ever heard the saying, the devil.

Yeah. And what does that mean to you? Well , it’s kind of, it hits personally cuz yeah. I can remember my, my father saying, you know, he, he’d rather keep an employee that he wasn’t happy with, rather than get a worse one hire, you know, fire him and hire, get a worse one. Yeah. The devil, you know, that was, that was the idea right there.

And the, and this principle was first studied in the 19th. . So it’s been around for a very long time. Whoa. And, and there was even marketing back then and, but, and this is, this has a lot to do with marketing. . Okay. But the bias itself is very simple. Okay. So this is a cognitive bias, right? Okay. Sorry. So yeah, just to, to put that in context, cognitive biases are things that are built into us, right?

Right. They’re, they’re part of our survival evolution. Mm-hmm. to, to make it so we can make quick decisions and think with less energy, and I’ll even come back to that. Okay. Okay. Because the bias is simple, is based on the premise that ex repeated exposure to an idea. Mm. or a product? Yeah, or any kind of object increases, one’s liking.

Okay. Okay. Oh, I get that. Yeah, I’ve done that. I mean, that, that’s, it’s kind of part of what we’re doing here, you know, to be completely transparent. Right. I’ve found that when I was following people on social media mm-hmm. , you know, watching their videos mm-hmm. consistently mm-hmm. that I felt like I know, knew that person.

And, and I actually had an experience with one, one lady where we then met. At a at a conference. Uhhuh . And, and I greeted her like we’d known each other for a while because I felt like I knew her. And she’s looking at me like, who are you? What happens with TV shows? You know, you get to the point where you see that same actor over and over.

Oh, I imagine actors feel that way all the time, right? They’re fans feel like they Exactly. They’re part of their life. . Okay, so how does it work in marketing? Marketing? Oh, , well, lemme go back just a second. Okay. Okay. Evolutionary wants. Yep. Okay. the first one to eat that piece of fruit. If he lived, then it was okay.

Okay. Oh, okay. But if he died, then nobody tried it again. Okay. So, and that’s kind of how we look at things, is the first thing we know. And, and we know that to give it that, that first impression, we’re a little cautious. Right, right, right. Okay. Right. But the second one, if you see somebody drop dead, you’re going, oh, I’m not touching that.

So he drew some pretty Okay. Okay. So evolutionary. It’s the familiar, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. In my group, not in my, there’s probably other, other cognitive biases there too, but, right. Yeah. We, we recognize, you know, like me, not like me, you know, familiarity like me, safer than not like me. Correct. . Correct. And, and that’s a whole bias that we’ve talked, I think before.

Yeah. Right. And. So in marketing, do you ever feel like you’ve seen the same commercial over and over again? Oh, all the time. And you have, and, and, and that’s part of it all the time, because the more you see it, the more comfortable you get with it. It may not work for you, it may not be the best thing for you, but because you’ve seen it so many times.

It’s familiar. Okay. So, so when it comes to going down the aisle in a store mm-hmm. , we see that product that’s mm-hmm. , we are, we’re drawn more to the ones that are the most familiar because even mm-hmm. , we’ve seen the ads, even if we didn’t, you know, intend that way. Exactly. Even if we didn’t pick, just pick them.

Right. Even if we don’t need it. So I’m wondering, I’m wondering if if, if that also has to do with the number of choices we have. Like, you know, when we, if there’s 16 brands of green beans, I went and counted one day , there was 16 different brands of green beans on the count, on the shelf. And, and so like, how do I pick right when, when there’s too many choices and it, and it becomes now this overwhelm.

I’m more likely to grab the familiar, right? That is correct. Okay. That is correct. And you know, we, we run those same ruts. Mm-hmm. , I mean, when I first moved to the town that he, he grew up with, his mama only had one way to go through the town. I didn’t have that. So I knew the town better with inside of two months that he had Yep.

Living there his whole life. Absolutely. Because I went off the beaten path and that’s part of this whole thing. . So does that have something to do with how we get around this? Correct. To counter that? Mm-hmm. actively seek [00:05:00] out other solutions. Okay. Okay. And, and challenge yourself. Okay. To see what, what is out there, to look at the more options or get a second opinion.

You’re gonna run to buy somebody, eh, how I, I see this? What do you think? Have you seen anything else or have. and an experience with something else. Uhhuh. . Okay. I, I’m thinking there might be a little self-check in the beginning there, like, I noticed, I noticed I’m drawn towards that thing. Right. Okay.

What’s drawing me towards that, that question. Right. You know, what, what is, is, is that just familiar or is that, did I actively choose that? Right. Right. So knowing our own kind of our, that can bias. Yeah. A little, a potential of. familiarity and, and then look, look, consider the unfamiliar. Right. Consider there might be value there.

Right. Okay. I like this. Yeah. The other one that was really, really fascinating that kind of goes along with marketing is, is traders and, and, and that they will tend to buy the same stock in a company that they know. Yes. Now, okay, this, this is really interesting. They may not like that product. , they may not trust that company, but because they know that company, they’ve, they’ve studied the, the whatever about the company with their whatever fundamentals or their prices or, or not even that.

If they’ve seen a lot of their products ah, on a shelf or they’ve seen it’s familiar driving. Okay. It’s familiar. Even though that may not be the right market for the not be a good investment, huh? It may not be the right market. It may not be the right. Doesn’t make any difference. Wow. They’re locked into, I’m only gonna trade this particular stock because I know it.

I think I saw something about that. As far as most people, most investors tend to invest in their own country and in companies. That was another thing. Country too. And, and whereas they could be, you know, a little bit more diversified by trading other markets. But there’s a, they’re scared of them because they’re again, unfamiliar, they unfamiliar

So you get the theme here. All right. Same thing with academics. Okay. In, in the academic world, as you know, they could publish in something every month and they could publish the same thing, just a little bit different wording. Mm-hmm. . And they’ve done that where everybody goes, oh man, this guy is producing so much stuff.

He’s wonderful. You know, no, like, and. That’s kind of bull. Okay. So, and, and oh, but the best one is politics. Uhoh, uh oh. So, Hmm. Exposure. beats policy every single time this has been studied. That sounds, that sounds like a study. It is, it’s been studied to the Instagram. Wow. And so do you, you know, when, what September comes around, you know you’re gonna be hit with how many thousands of pictures and billboards and signs out in the street and, and.

Over and over and over, and over and over. Well, and it’s the person that gets the most exposure wins every time. I’ll be darned. Yeah. That, that one was the most shocking to me. And also to end this up the way it’s always been done. Say again the way it’s always been done. What about it? , haven’t you heard that before?

We’ll, we’re, we’re going to do this cuz we’ve always done it this way. Oh, okay. Okay. No, no, I misunderstood the beginning. Okay. Okay. So that, that concept, holding that in mind of what this is the way we’ve always done it. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. Now, this is how we’ve always done it. Is is that still effective? ? Yeah.

There’s a joke I, and I can’t repeat the joke well, but it’s something, or story. About somebody that, you know, takes a, a, like a leg of lamb or a, a piece of meat that’s got a bone in it, Uh-huh . And they, they cut it in two pieces to cook it. And somebody finally asked, how come you’re doing that? And it turns out that, you know, grandma only had a, a little bitty pan, so she had to do it to make it fit in the pan

And so, you know, two generations later, they’re still cutting a piece of meat a certain way because of grandma’s pen that nobody’s using it anymore. . That’s a familiarity principle right there. Okay. And, and there again, it’s being cognitive of this. Yes, yes. Awareness is awareness of, you know, when you do pick up that can of beans, you know, is this the best price?

Is this the best thing for me? Is this, is this the one that I want truly, or is it something that. It’s just habit. All right, habit. So I like mayonnaise, , . So thanks very much for spending a few minutes with us and we’ll see you in another video. Bye.

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  1. The Mere Exposure effect is so familiar, LOL!

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